• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE3996

Renowden, Mary Cranwell

(1845 – 1932)
  • Born 1 January, 1845, Geelong Victoria Australia
  • Died 6 September, 1932, Parkerville Western Australia Australia
  • Occupation Postmistress


Mary Renowden was the first government official in Broken Hill, New South Wales, serving as postmistress from 1 January 1886.


The daughter of Samuel Eades and Ellen Eades (nee Kerwan), Mary came from a family of six children. In 1866, in Geelong, she married Zechariah (Zachariah) Dawson Wilson and had six children. A Lieutenant with the Victorian Company Department, Wilson died at Warrnambool, Victoria, in 1881 at the age of 46 years.

Mary moved with her family to Silverton, near Broken Hill in New South Wales. In 1886 she married John Oliver Renowden, and had two more children – Mary Kate, born October 1888, and John R. Oliver, born January 1891. One son from her first marriage, Robert Wilson, died in Broken Hill in April 1893.

John Oliver Renowden was a member of Broken Hill’s first Progress Committee. His sketch of the town pre-settlement is now held at the Broken Hill Railway Museum. When the Committee elected to appoint a postmistress and run a mail coach between Silverton and Mount Gipps, Mary was appointed postmistress. She began work on the first day of January, 1886, with a salary of ten pounds per annum.

Mary left Broken Hill with her family in 1893 to live in Parkerville, Western Australia.


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